Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Monday, applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his administration’s determined fight against economic crimes and corruption in the country.
Gov. Ugwuanyi, who spoke at the event commemorating this year’s International Anti-Corruption Day, held at the South East zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in Enugu, also appreciated the genuine efforts of the acting Chairman of the commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu and his team, in the enthronement of transparency and prudence in the management of public finances.
The governor while acknowledging the contributions of the commission in the South East zone equally commended its zonal head, Usman Imam and his team for “your untiring efforts to sustain zero tolerance for corruption”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi, who made history as the first governor to attend a function of the commission at the Enugu zonal office since its establishment in 2006, thanked the body for inviting him to the event.
The governor, who noted the onerous task before the EFCC, wished the officials God’s abiding guidance and protection and prayed that the commission continues to grow from strength to strength.
In his opening address, the EFCC zonal head, Imam, while disclosing that Gov. Ugwuanyi was the first governor to attend a function at the zonal office since its establishment in 2006 stated that this year’s event was “unique and historic”.
Imam added that the gesture “speaks volumes honestly”, expressing their gratitude to the governor “for being in our midst”.
He explained that “the EFCC celebrates this day with stakeholders because of its God-given mandate of leading the fight against economic and financial crimes and other forms of corruption in the country and indeed, across the continent”.
The Enugu zonal head, who noted that the event was marked simultaneously in all the zonal offices across the country including the headquarters in Abuja, with the theme: “Zero Tolerance For Corruption”, harped on the urgent need for effective collaboration among EFCC, ICPC and other law enforcement agencies in the fight against economic crimes and corruption.
He stressed that “because corruption is not just an act instinctively carried out, but a function of calculating, strategic, self-interested behaviour, the need to tackle it through a behavioral change approach cannot be over-emphasized”.
“Indeed, we are not resting on our oars as EFCC is not just about prosecution and conviction. We have been quite robust in our sensitization and enlightenment mandates”.
The Enugu zonal head therefore called for the support and co-operation of Nigerians, stressing that “fighting corruption requires vigorous and collective participation of everybody including children and especially opinion leaders, civil society organizations, labour, traditional rulers, student leaders, the judiciary and the media”.
Offering candid advice against corrupt practices, Imam said: “Those who have been identified as corrupt among the people must not be given chieftaincy tittles and must consciously be alienated as deterrent to others and for all to know that corruption is anti-people.
“Parents who enjoy the loot of criminalities from their children, who are involved in cyber crimes otherwise known as yahoo-yahoo, must know that a day of reckoning is coming. Do not encourage your children to live above their means, rather instill the virtue of hard work, transparency and accountability in them”.